The Orchid is a DHARMA Initiative station first mentioned in outtakes from a DHARMA orientation film originally presented at the Lost Panel at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con and later on the Region 1 Season 3 DVD release. It was introduced by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse as a teaser for Season 4.
The video is presented by Edgar Halliwax. According to the video, the Orchid, or "Station 6", is a fake botanical station that houses many numbered white rabbits. It seems to have an alarm system with elements similar to that of the Swan. The subject of the Orchid's research is described as "highly volatile and potentially dangerous", and reference is made to the Casimir effect.
This station is mentioned on the Blast Door Map. At 7:00 position, there is a notation: "Low Priority Zone for Exploration - Possible site for Above Ground Study of ?Flora?. Low Relevance to Valenzetti related Research Activity".
The Orchid station was until recently inhabited by Keamy and his men ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 1"), and was last seen on December 30, 2004 from Ben's perspective as he used the most subterranean level of the station to move the Island. He wore a Orchid Jacket with the name Halliwax on the right breast. As he turned a giant wheel, a bright white light was seen to be generated and a humming consistent with The Discharge could be heard. ("There's No Place Like Home, Part 2")
When Ben wakes up in the Tunisian Desert in October 2005, he is wearing the same Orchid Jacket. He has steam coming off of him and still has the arm injury he sustained descending into the bottom level of the station. ("The Shape of Things to Come")
Introduction and presentation
Outtakes from the Orchid's orientation film were introduced by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse as an opportunity to "learn more about the DHARMA Initiative". Cuse further described the film as "something that will fire your imaginations about what you're gonna see in Season 4".
Before the video played, Lindelof and Cuse recounted a story in which the film was sent to them after being found in a building in Narvik, Norway that was set to be demolished (possibly the Hanso Foundation headquarters). The film was then purportedly spliced together and restored by the writers.
From the outside, the Orchid station resembles a greenhouse, containing a variety of flora. The station's exterior also appears to have become overgrown with vines covering, for instance, stairs and support beams.
According to Ben in "There's No Place Like Home", there is a hidden switch within the station that activates an elevator taking one to the "real" station underground. Ben tells Locke:
"You're going to go into that greenhouse through that hole there. Once inside, you're going to turn left. Go about 20 paces until you see a patch of anthuriums on your left. They're in an alcove against the north wall. Face that wall, reach down with your left hand, you'll find a switch that activates the elevator. The elevator takes you down to the actual Orchid station."
This area has yet to be shown, but most probably includes the room seen in the Orchid Orientation video.
- During the broadcast of the program on ABC on May 15th, 2008, in the fourth commercial slot (the one that follows Hugo running away from the restored Camaro), a commercial for the clothing company Old Navy appeared, which included a reference to an item called the "Orchid Night Dress." Although, this may have been just a coincidence.
Implications of the film
- Because of their reputation as prolific breeders, rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility as well.
- Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse suggest that fans curious about Charlotte's discovery of a polar bear skeleton in Tunisia watch the Orchid video, and further draw a link between the polar bear with the bunny in the video. (Official Lost Podcast/February 19, 2008)
- Hidden Messages in the film:
- 0:40 - The Lab in the video
- 0:49 - A tower block
- 1:09 - "God loves you as he loved Jacob"
- 1:42 - Video of a bicycle in what seems to be the barracks
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: The Orchid/Theories
- Why were the researchers so concerned about the presence of the second rabbit?
- What is the "shift" the female researcher refers to?
- What was the countdown for?
- Why, according to Ben, is using the Orchid "both dangerous and unpredictable"?
- What does Daniel Faraday know about the Orchid, and how?
- Why does he have a sketch of the Orchid logo in his journal?
- When he finds out that Keamy's group is going there, why does he tell Charlotte that they need to immediately leave the island?
- The Orchid Orientation Video - This version lacks the profanity and countdown alarm sound.
- The Orchid Orientation Video from Comic Con audience - This version includes the profanity and countdown alarm sound, as well as the reactions of the audience.
- Lost Panel Video
- Casimir effect (Wikipedia)
- TheTailSection - video of Lost Panel at Comic Con 2007, including short statement about the Orchid video. (may contain other spoilers)